The song “Take Me to Church” by Irish recording artist Hozier was nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammy’s.  I must admit, I am not a pop culture guy. I spent most of the time when watching the Grammy’s asking my wife, “Who is that?” and “What is happening right now?”. When playing the popular Trivia Crack game, I exhale a breath of “welp…this will be my last question this round” when it lands on Pop Culture. After college I relaxed my clinching hands that were grasped to the Rock ‘N Roll culture. With that being said, I rarely listen to music. And when I do listen to music, it normally isn’t mainstream.

So a few weeks ago when my wife and I were in the car and sifting through radio frequencies, we stumbled upon a station playing “Take Me to Church”. At first I was really excited that a mainstream song had such a romantic almost monastic sound along-side lyrics that’s promoting taking people to church! Not to mention what appeared to be blatant Catholic references. I was thinking.. nice Hollywood +1 for you!

But by the end of the song I remember telling my wife, “That was very catchy. But I’m not sure exactly what he says in certain parts of the song and I’m not sure what the true message is.” She agreed she wasn’t sure what to think about it either.

meet-ireland-s-hozier

[small]Picture of Hozier[/small]

 

I meant to look up the lyrics to analyze them and see what Hozier is really singing but I forgot and because I don’t listen to music on the radio, it completely slipped my mind until I came across this blog from Dr. Taylor Marshall. (You should read it – He breaks down the lyrics and meanings)

Click Here to read the blog from Dr. Taylor Marshall

The conclusion is what I feared.

As Hozier stated himself in an interview with New York Magazine in March 2014:

‘Take Me to Church’ is essentially about sex, but it’s a tongue-in-cheek attack at organizations that would… undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation — that it is sinful, or that it offends God…

But it’s not an attack on faith… it’s an assertion of self, reclaiming humanity back for something that is the most natural and worthwhile.

Bummer…. I thought we were getting somewhere Hollywood! -100 points.

As the CCC states in paragraph 1158:

The harmony of signs (song, music, words, and actions) is all the more expressive and fruitful when expressed in the cultural richness of the People of God who celebrate.25 Hence “religious singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises as well as in liturgical services,” in conformity with the Church’s norms, “the voices of the faithful may be heard.” But “the texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine. Indeed they should be drawn chiefly from the Sacred Scripture and from liturgical sources.”

Unfortunately, “Take Me to Church” doesn’t fall into this category. It is actually the exact opposite. So as for me and my house…. we will not be listening to it. Sorry – not sorry Hozier.

Dr. Taylor Marshall concluded his blog better than I could so I will quote him:

I know it’s a catchy song. There’s a part of me that likes it. But seriously, this is probably one of the most sacramental songs every popularized – and it sacramentalizes the wrong values.

That’s my two cents.